Western Pennsylvania Gas Prices See Slight Increase as All Eyes Remain on Hurricane Florence

Pennsylvania, Gas Prices
Fuel Gauge by Paul Schadler
Photo by Paul Schadler https://www.flickr.com/photos/pschadler/ creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are up by another penny this week to $3.119 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are seeing pump prices mostly remaining steady on the week with a few states including Pennsylvania (+2 cents) seeing a modest rise. Part of this increase could be connected to a recent drop in regional refinery utilization that is linked to the unplanned shutdown at Phillip’s Bayway refinery last month.

For a second week, gasoline inventories added a surprise build of nearly 2 million barrels, which is helping to keep most state gas price averages steady. Sources say a good bit of the inventory uptick can be attributed to strong imports. Total inventory for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast sits at 66 million barrels.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average: $3.119
Average price during the week of September 4, 2018: $3.104
Average price during the week of September 11, 2017: $2.871

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:      

$3.038      Altoona
$3.121      Beaver
$3.131      Bradford
$3.181      Brookville
$3.150      Butler
$3.129      Clarion
$3.076      Du Bois
$3.119      Erie
$3.147      Greensburg
$3.139      Indiana
$3.186      Jeannette
$3.192      Kittanning
$3.169      Latrobe
$3.151      Meadville
$3.092      Mercer
$3.068      New Castle
$3.086      New Kensington
$3.119      Pittsburgh
$3.019      Sharon
$3.048      Uniontown
$3.177      Warren
$3.079      Washington

On the National Front 
On the week, the national gas price average rose a penny to land at $2.85. Prices remain relatively stable across the country as gasoline demand dipped slightly and gasoline inventories incrementally built according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports.

With the switchover to winter-blend gasoline fast approaching (September 15), gas prices are expected to decline this month. The threat of Hurricane Florence —  which is now a Category 2 storm and projected to hit between South Carolina and Virginia by end of this week —will likely have an impact on East Coast gas prices this week should the storm follow its projected path.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate dropped two cents to settle at $67.75. The drop in the price of crude oil can be attributed to several factors including increasing U.S. gasoline inventories. According to EIA’s report, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels last week and are about 7 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. At the same time crude oil stocks dropped 4.3 million barrels from the previous week as refinery utilization rates reached 96.6 percent. These market dynamics are mostly keeping gas prices flat, but a factor that may negatively impact prices is the threat of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to pinpoint exactly where it will make landfall, the National Hurricane Center reports landfall could occur somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia late this week.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com

-AAA-